As many of my friends and colleagues know, I have a pathological hatred of the remake, the "time-honored" method of taking the core elements of a previously made movie or TV show and reviving it as an newly produced entity. The reasons for this are simple enough - remakes, for the most part, blow. They do nothing to enhance the enjoyment of the original and quite often send audiences running toward the hills and away from the screen, much of the time throwing off profanities in the process. Yes, I am not naive enough to think that every remake every made has been a worthless pile of civet cat excrement (minus the aromatic coffee, of course). But for every 3:10 to Yuma, there are least a dozen All the King's Men. Maybe a thousand. It's hard to keep track in a Hollywood that increasingly reaches for the past instead of, oh, trying to create something new and different. So you will forgive me if I'm not in a tizzy over the forthcoming remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day The Earth Stood Still, starring no less than Keanu Reeves in the pivotal role of the mysterious alien Klaatu. ("Klaatu barada nikto, dude!")
"That's fine, Dave," you may ask, "but what about sequels?" "Good question," I would respond. Sequels are in a different category, as they are usually a continuation of a story previous told. And many a sequel has improved on the original, or at least been up to the standards of the first, whatever those standards were. The Godfather, Part II, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Dark Knight - just three examples of a follow-up to an acclaimed movie achieving its own level of excellent. (The first two actually won Oscars for Best Picture, while the latter may be up for its own Academy Awards if the cards fall in place.) Still, there are many sequels that also, well, blow, meaning that there is still something of a dread that comes into my movie-loving heart whenever a "Part II" or such is announced.
This all comes up because of an article in the New York Post this morning which reported that Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins are in talks to reprise their roles in a sequel to the popular 1988 baseball romantic comedy Bull Durham. According to the Post, the film would have Sarandon and Robbins' characers, baseball groupie Annie Savoy and hotshot pitcher Nuke LaLoosh, now married, apparently wealthy and co-owning a big-league franchise that is managed by Costner's "Crash" Davis. Now, the sequel will reportedly be written and directed by Ron Shelton, who did the same for the first. And on the surface, the plotline sounds plausible, as many a minor-league catcher has gone on to manage in The Show in the real world. But a sequel? To one of the best baseball movies ever made? Twenty-plus years later.
Oh, well, I guess the proof will be in the celluloid. Besides, I was so fearful of the Sex and the City sequel until I finally saw it. Just don't have Tim Robbins wearing women's lingerie again.